A view on Fishing,Community and Life on the NW coast of Scotland

Apart from sky-high stress levels it has been a fairly uneventful week so far. Wrote that before I thought too much about the week. Monday was a usual days fishing, couple of fleets foul with mine but in shallow water so not too hard to free up. Have to watch the shoulder, had it diagnosed as the equivalent of carpal tunnel syndrome of the shoulder. Bit of a pain and always need to protect it. Seals basking


in the sun on the way in.


The weather has been pretty good this week, today it bright and fresh from the south, so it a mix of wood and starting the garden make over.

Tuesday was a day of walking the pooches, casing for the wood pile, and then over the Hill for a meeting in Kyle at the BUTEC Base for a meeting about the Range expansion. Managed to get a “commitment” that the Outer Sea Area will never be closed during a Trial. Sounds fair enough but there are going to be times like now when they will be using the Outer Sea Area and we will be requested not to be there while Trial goes on. Am I too skeptical or just realistic. We keep hearing about the wonderful cooperation, mainly we do not upset the MoD operations by not fishing there. The lines of the expansion seem to have hardened and are going to be the expansion, full stop. They were the original lines on the “leaked” map, something I was told was a regular occurrence with in these establishments, although in this case there was a pretty hefty investigation following this leak. I am impressed with all the ideas put forward by the fishermen from the south on how to have a bit of dual use of the Range. They are all “being taken on board” but nothing further I fear. It was pointed out that the so-called ripple effect should be described more as a tidal effect on the boats out with the Range area when the creels have to be moved from the new restricted grounds…..on a weeks notice it seems. At the end of the meeting the last kick in the teeth was lobbed in. “There will be no compensation” for lose of the Fishing Grounds. Minister has already decided….and people still query why I voted Yes?

The journey there and back was made to feel quite short due to the company and wide-ranging discussions, mainly politics, very interesting and a little insightful shortened the journey. A bit of concentration needed on the Hill as there was a covering of snow on the road but all well. Wednesday morning meant an early trip down to the pier to refuel the Auk


before they headed out to a days diving for scallops. Received a bag of smaller scallops on Monday for a fine feed. Rather more than expected but the freezer is stocked up for the summer with lovely underaged king scallops. The morning was beautiful


with the snows still on the mountains


and the sun shinning bright.


The last couple of nights I have been pretending to be in charge at the Inn and so far it has been very smooth. Result being that I have not added to the double-digit shifts with any fishing. They have plenty prawns to sell over the weekend and the forecast for the next week seems quite settled. It was a gentle night last evening but tonight threatens to be a lot further up the scale. Full Inn and more at the Hostel alongside a pre funeral meal means at least 50/60 meals tonight. Just Zuzu and I to deal with the front. Regard it as a challenge and a reminder summer is close by. Instead of the fishing the wood gathering and dog walking take precedence in lovely weather and big tides. Went out to Sand


to check up reports on some dead sea life but did not come across any. Worth the trip though and Dougal


certainly thought so.


Comments on: "Uneventful, but Wait a Minute…" (2)

  1. Alasdair,

    Reading about the increased fishing restrictions, in this and earlier blogs, I am reminded of the comments of a retired senior civil servant.

    In his professional life he had dealt with similar issues, on behalf of the government. In retirement, he found himself on the other side of the fence when a new by-pass was going to severely affect his home and also those of his immediate neighbours.

    His advice was to make as much fuss as is possible, at the earliest opportunity. Civil servants hate fuss. They just want things to go their way, as smoothly as possible. This was long before the days of social media, so it involved sit-ins, demonstrations, mass letter writing campaigns to MPs and Councillors. All this creates extra work for civil servants who now have to justify their actions and consider alternatives, which they probably hadn’t done.

    These days you need a Facebook and twitter campaign with a few provocative statements.

    “The clearances return to Applecross, 21C style”

    “Whitehall to destroy local industries”

    “Fragile West Coast economy threatened by nuclear subs”

    Also, some press releases. If they are carefully worded, regional papers will print them word-for-word.

    And get your MP to Applecross for a photo opportunity…and another press release.

    I presume that the fisheries minister you mention is George Eustice? Has he actually visited Applecross? Could anyone be more remote than a Cornish Conservative MP who once stood for UKIP in a European Parliament election?

    Just a few thoughts from someone who loves Applecross. We’ll be there 3rd week in May.

    Kind regards,


    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Cheers Ian,we feel we are on a very shuggly peg as the MoD do what they want and demand our cooperation. If we do not cooperate they will simply keep extending the Range. It is hard work dealing with them and although I have been cynical all the way through the process everything I have believed would be the case has indeed turned out that way.

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